Arturo Sandoval releases his second album on Concord Jazz, Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You). The album is Sandoval’s tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, the mentor and friend who literally rescued him and his family from an oppressive existence and gave them a chance at an entirely new and better life. The album is a collection of classics from Gillespie’s massive body of work, each framed in big-band arrangements that throw the spotlight squarely on the elements of bebop that underscore so much of the iconic trumpeter’s work and set the tone for the music of his era.
Backing Sandoval on the project is a crew of top-shelf jazz artists: vibraphonist Gary Burton, Yellowjacket’s leader saxophonist Bob Mintzer, organist Joey DeFrancesco, clarinetist Eddie Daniels, saxophonist Ed Calle, drummer/producer Gregg Field and several others. Also along for the ride are a couple of unlikely but well-placed surprises – actors Andy Garcia on percussion and vocalist Manolo Gimenez. The resulting set is, as Field puts it, is Sandoval’s “love letter to an old friend.”